Reading Scripture in Lent

Image via Morguefile

Image via Morguefile

I am sitting in front of my computer while the pasta cooks, having a glass of white wine (which I needed for the Linguini sauce you realize), and pondering: what to do for Lent?

Lenten practice is problematic for me and my family. My husband and I grew up with different practices during Lent. I was brought up saying the rosary and giving up sweets. Prayer and sacrifice–seems like the natural thing to do, right? But my husband’s family never had these traditions, and he is more interested in doing something positive than in giving something up. While I could always purchase a bull whip as an incentive for everyone to kneel down at 5pm to pray each day, it would, of course, defeat the purpose.

So, here is my plan. My two boys have always enjoyed reading as a family. So, why not read a book together several nights a week, just before bed, like we used to when they were small? This book, however, will be The Book, the good book, Scripture. We can aim to get through at least one gospel in forty days. That should be easy.

Now it may be that there will be protests. Perhaps a weary remark or two. However, I predict that the children will be more interested in hearing the Word of God than in giving up screen time or dessert (which can they can always do if they so chose). What could be a better practice for lent, more simple and rewarding, especially if we manage to do it 3 times a week, my very ambitious goal?

So, the next time I write for (the 17th of March), I will report back. I promise to tell the whole truth, ugly or fair, and give you any tips on creating a positive atmosphere for reading the Word together as a family. If nothing else, it is an opportunity to model what we know is essential to growing as the Lord’s disciples: living in the Word.

Copyright 2015 Julie Paavola. All rights reserved.
Image: rosary_on_bible_red by jclk8888 via Morguefile.


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  1. I love this approach, Julie! I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you…and I’m inspired to give this a shot myself. I always, ALWAYS struggle with what to do with my kids…

    • Julie Paavola on

      Hi Sarah,
      We started this morning (Saturday) and we are reading John’s gospel. We only did verses 1-18. It lead to a discussion about the verse where St. John the Baptist exclaims, “He is comes after me ranks ahead of me, because he was before me.” My husband reminded the boys that John the Baptist was famous and had to remind the crowds he was not the Messiah. We also talked about John’s mother, Elizabeth, and how she was the first believer, because when Mary visited her just after she became pregnant with Jesus, Elizabeth said,, “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”
      I’ll keep you posted on how things go and write some of the highlights in my next article. This is a lovely gospel!

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